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Jury still deliberating in Albion footballers' trial
The jurors in the case of four Albion players accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman were told to take their time deciding the men’s fate.
Seven women and five men retired to consider their verdict in the cases of George Barker, 21, Anton Rodgers, 20, Lewis Dunk, 21, and Steve Cook, 21, who are accused of sexual assault and voyeurism.
The men are accused of photographing themselves sexually assaulting the woman at the Jurys Inn hotel in Stroudley Road, Brighton.
At the time they all played for Brighton and Hove Albion and the incident happened after the club’s first game at American Express Community Stadium in July 2011.
They are accused of having sexual contact with the woman while she slept and taking photographs for their sexual gratification.
As the jurors retired at 1pm on Friday, February 1, Judge Charles Wide said they should not feel under any pressure to rush to make a decision. Sending them home at 4.30pm he told them not to discuss the case over the weekend.
He spent the morning summarising the evidence in the case.
Judge Wide said the moment the woman said she found photographs on Rodgers’ phone, the morning after the incident, was “very important”.
He said: “Whatever you make of it this is the evidence on which the Crown centrally relies.”
Only one photograph has been recovered, which shows Barker giving a “thumbs-up” sign and the initials “GB” written on the woman’s leg in shaving foam.
Judge Wide highlighted the evidence of Ben Sampayo – a fellow player who was in the hotel room but is not accused of any crime. Mr Sampayo had described seeing a photograph in which more than one person exposed themselves and hearing it said that body parts were in the victim’s hand.
He said the credibility the jury gave to Barker’s and Rodgers’ evidence could be undermined by the fact they would not answer police questions. But he said all the defendants had added credibility because they had no previous convictions.
The jury returns to court on today (February 4) to continue its deliberations.
See all stories relating to the trial here: www.theargus.co.uk/news/indepth/bhatrial
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